So, The Killers: 12 years, countless shows, four studio albums and now a best-of compilation. Given the ubiquitous nature of the Las Vegas outfit’s greatest hits – has the past decade produced a finer karaoke classic than ‘Human’? – it’s a little startling to see each of these anthems laid down.
Opening with a flurry of ever-glamorous indie-disco, hits like ‘Mr Brightside’ remain as vibrantly fluorescent as the first time they assaulted the nation’s student unions. Yet it’s easy to forget how far the band has grown: the strut of ‘Somebody Told Me’ swiftly gives way to the mature, mid-paced work of ‘When You Were Young’ (video below).
Demanding and retaining our attention for over a decade now, The Killers have retained their assassin-level pop touch as each boundary is surpassed. Now a stadium-shagging four-headed beast, the two new tracks on the collection are both indicators of how far the band has come and where it might go next.
‘Just Another Girl’ finds the group working with long-time collaborator Stuart Price, while the single ‘Shot At The Night’ features M83’s Anthony Gonzalez. Both display typical style, but while it’s nice to have new material from The Killers neither track feels particularly vital.
Charting the long rise of a true pop phenomenon, ‘Direct Hits’ is almost dragged under by the weight of the band’s success – each song simply feels too fresh, too well known to warrant the archival. A nice refresher, if a little unnecessary.
Words: Robin Murray
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The Killers have fared well indeed in the pop charts – and if pop’s your thing, check out the Pop Issue of Clash magazine, on sale now. More information is yours if you want it.
Stream tracks by The Killers via Deezer, below…